There’s so much to learn in first grade! Not just for the students. But for me.
I see little minds putting together ideas and giving voice to their imaginations. In the time I spend one-one or in small groups I come away filled with stories. My several hours each week volunteering in a first grade class fill me with wonder.
Last week we were responding to the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Students identified what happened at the beginning: the boy was under the tree, bored, and thinking of how to play a trick on everybody. After writing a sentence, students drew a picture. I was with two wonderful little girls, each of whom wanted to draw the boy with his sheep – all seven of them – because seven were depicted in the storybook.
The first girl delighted in the creation of each sheep individually. She sang a little song (“Sheepie, sheepie, la la la”) as she drew. Each animal was lovingly drawn in full: fluffy body, bump for the head, two more bumps for ears, four sticks for legs. A delighted flourish of her hand, and then on to the next sheep.
The second girl also enjoyed this project, but went about it completely differently. She created a sheep assembly line. First: the body. Seven bodies in a row. Then the head: seven heads in a row. Then seven sets of ears and seven sets of legs. Done. She is a very serious little girl.
Since last week, I have thought a lot about these two wonderful girls. Where did those two completely different plans of action come from?
How amazing that each came to the project with her own perspective, that each created her own plan of action, that each found pleasure in the task and the way she was pursuing it.
When children draw, it is a way to order their experiences, to give voice through imagination to what they wonder about. I believe it is one of the ways they make sense of the world.
And I remember doing that.
(The artwork in the heading of this blog post is a detail from my textile collage, “Find Something Real to Remember.” It’s on my website, HERE)